The Aquis Gold Coast Titans are proud to announce an extension of our association with Queensland Touch Football.
It involves developing a strong relationship with the modified form of the game called Touch Football Specialised, designed for those with intellectual or physical impairments.
Touch Football Specialised Inc. is a not-for-profit association established in 2013 on the Gold Coast by elite touch football player and school teacher Graeme Clancy.
Modified touch football rules have been implemented to increase the ability for individuals with intellectual impairments to engage within the sport.
Touch Football Specialised Inc. works on an inclusive framework aimed at providing an opportunity for individuals with intellectual impairments, regardless of disability, to participate in a sporting team with a focus on participation and socialisation. Athletes participate in a division (social, recreational or competitive) based on their capabilities not disability which leads to more engagement and more fun.
The first Queensland Special Education Touch Football Championships were held in 2014 with nine schools and 151 students attending the event. The event grew in 2015 with the championships at the Redlands Rugby League Club attracting more than 200 students from 14 schools.
Titans co-captain Nathan Friend will be the club’s player ambassador for Touch Football Specialised Inc. and the sport will be showcased at Cbus Super Stadium on the night our blockbuster local derby against Brisbane Broncos on Friday April 1.
Competitive and social games will be played at half-time of NRL game. The competitive game will be between Brisbane Broncos (Brisbane-based participants) and Gold Coast Titans (Gold Coast based participants). Participants will also form a guard of honour for the players going into the second half.
“This is a great program that demonstrates the power of sport in helping to address so many issues confronting society,” said Aquis Titans CEO Graham Annesley.
"The rugby league and touch football partnership is all about inclusiveness and participation regardless of ability. The Titans are proud to be associated with such a valuable community program from which participants derive so much enjoyment.”
Titans Elite 8 men’s representative team player Graeme Clancy provides a background of how he began Touch Football Specialised, and how quickly it has developed.
“Touch Football Specialised began in the playground with a few students wanting to play touch as I talked about me playing,” he recalled.
“From there the idea was floated to nearby special education school to have an interschool game once a fortnight. It really picked up when I was talking about attending the state championships and a student asked if they could play.
“I thought about the question a lot and decided why couldn’t they play? So that year I organised the first Queensland state championships. When I was organising I heard of an older team in Ipswich who trained for a year but had never had anyone to play so I put together a team with the help of Burleigh Bears and drove up to give them a match. From there it just has continued to grow.
“Individuals with intellectual impairments want, and should have, access to the same things as everyone else. They love sport and in particular rugby league and touch football.
“Our focus in on socialisation and participation. We have developed divisions so everyone can play.
“The response has been fantastic. Schools, Touch Football Queensland, SQBD Touch Football, Ipswich Jets RLFC, Burleigh Bears RLFC and Redlands RLFC have been amazing and willing to jump on board and now the Titans have jumped behind us as well.”